James Hampton, a personality actor who achieved a measure of sitcom immortality with considered one of his earliest roles, the inept bugler Hannibal Dobbs within the 1960s sequence “F Troop,” died on Wednesday at his house in Trophy Club, Texas. He was 84.
Linda McAlister, his agent, stated the trigger was problems of Parkinson’s illness.
Mr. Hampton had a genial countenance properly suited to comedic roles characterised by bumbling or gullibility. He had appeared in a handful of tv reveals, “Death Valley” and “Dr. Kildare” amongst them, when the director of a “Gunsmoke” episode he was in introduced him to the eye of a Warner Bros. casting director. That led to the function on “F Troop,” a spunky ABC comedy a few navy outpost, Fort Courage, within the 1860s.
The present starred Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, Melody Patterson and Ken Berry, however Mr. Hampton made an indelible impression in his secondary function as a bugler whose taking part in bore solely a passing resemblance to music. (In the present’s opening montage, an arrow makes a direct hit into the bell finish of his horn as he’s taking part in.) The present ran for under two seasons, however its over-the-top humor in an period of milder comedies like “The Andy Griffith Show” endeared it to a sure phase of viewers.
Mr. Hampton was well-known to a later technology from the 1985 film “Teen Wolf,” through which he portrayed the daddy of the title character, a werewolf performed by the rising star Michael J. Fox. He was additionally in its sequel, “Teen Wolf Too,” which starred Jason Bateman, in 1987.
Mr. Hampton performed extra severe roles as properly, together with the ability firm public relations man who’s exhibiting Jane Fonda’s character round a nuclear energy plant when catastrophe strikes in “The China Syndrome” (1979).
He often directed, together with episodes of the 1990s sequence “Hearts Afire,” whose forged included Billy Bob Thornton. When Mr. Thornton wrote his acclaimed movie “Sling Blade” (1996), he made certain that there was a task in it for Mr. Hampton, as a hospital administrator.
Burt Reynolds was one other necessary affect in his profession. They met whereas working collectively on “Gunsmoke” when Mr. Reynolds was a daily forged member. The two appeared within the 1974 soccer film “The Longest Yard,” and Mr. Hampton each wrote and directed episodes of Mr. Reynolds’s 1990s sequence, “Evening Shade.”
James Wade Hampton was born on July 9, 1936, in Oklahoma City. His father, Ivan, owned a dry cleansing enterprise, and his mom, Edna (Gately) Hampton, labored at a millinery.
He grew up in Dallas and was a speech and drama main at North Texas State College (now the University of North Texas). He was drafted within the Army in 1959 and served in Europe. Returning to Texas within the early 1960s, he labored in regional theater earlier than transferring to New York in 1962.
Mr. Hampton labored steadily for the following 4 a long time and landed occasional roles even after semi-retiring and settling again in Texas in 2002. He is survived by his spouse, Mary Deese Hampton, whom he married in 2002; two sons, James and Frank; a daughter, Andrea Hampton Doyle; and three grandchildren.
After “F Troop,” Mr. Hampton returned to slapstick-in-uniform within the 1976 film “Hawmps!” He performed a mid-19th-century lieutenant tasked with overseeing an experiment in Texas that concerned utilizing camels within the cavalry. Mr. Hampton was a favourite of Johnny Carson in that interval and was a frequent visitor on his “Tonight Show,” together with on the night time of the Hollywood premiere of “Hawmps!”
As Mr. Hampton instructed the story to The Community Common of Portsmouth, Ohio, in 2007, he was Mr. Carson’s first visitor in order that he may go away early to get to the premiere. He occurred to say to Mr. Carson that his mom was within the studio viewers. Mr. Carson introduced up the home lights and congratulated her on her son’s massive night time.
His mom responded by saying: “You just go ahead to the premiere, James. I’m going to stay and watch the rest of Johnny.”